Textiles & Apparel / Garment
An industry in search of efficiency and clarity – MUNICH FABRIC START and BLUEZONE provide answers
Objective, focused and positive – that describes the mood at the international fabric shows MUNICH FABRIC START (24 to 26 January 2023) and BLUEZONE (24 and 25 January 2023) that have just come to an end. The three adjectives illustrate what is important for international designers, buyers, product managers and decision-makers: finding new aesthetic and technological impulses, sharpening their own identity and increasing efficiency in a changing market environment characterised by cost pressure, high energy prices, inflation and recession.
More than 14,000 visitors from 58 countries, especially from the DACH region, Benelux, Scandinavia, the UK and Turkey, came to the events organised by Munich Fabric Start Exhibitions GmbH at the MOC and the Zenith Areal for trend research, sourcing, information and intensive exchange. As the first fabric show, ahead of Paris and Milan in the international trade show calendar, the relevance of MUNICH FABRIC START and BLUEZONE as an important date for the industry was once again confirmed.
This is also shown by the high quality of the visitors with product managers from leading brands such as About You, Adidas, Akris, Alberto, Allude, Best Secret, Bestseller, Betty Barclay, Bogner, Boss, Brax, C&A, Cambio, Comma, Dorothee Schumacher, Drykorn, Escada, Esprit, Etienne Aigner, Frauenschuh, Gerry Weber, Gucci, Hallhuber, Holy Fashion Group, Joop, Lagerfeld, Lala Berlin, Lodenfrey, Luisa Cerano, MAC, Marc Aurel, Marc Cain, Marc O'Polo, More & More, Oui, P&C, Riani, s. Oliver, Seidensticker, Sportalm, Strellson, Vogue and Windsor.
The frequency is thus about 20% below the level of the comparative show three years ago in January 2020, which took place before the beginning of the pandemic. Due to the current economic situation in the market as a whole as well as limited travel activities, e.g. by Asian visitors, this was to be expected in advance and represents a satisfactory and realistic result from the organisers' point of view.
“MUNICH FABRIC START and BLUEZONE were well attended and we had two, respectively three days of intense conversations, game-changing business decisions, inspiration and innovation. Our conference programme with over over 90 top-class speakers was more extensive than ever before. The interest in new developments, especially in the areas of digitalisation and sustainability, was extremely high and is now going much more into depth”, says Sebastian Klinder, Managing Director MUNICH FABRIC START.
“We had hoped it would happen, and it has: despite the current difficult economic market environment, the mood at MUNICH FABRIC START and BLUEZONE was one of curiosity and optimism. Business processes are definitely being critically questioned, but the companies have answers – through new product innovations, exciting new designs or through more efficient and more transparent processes. As a trade show, we provide the platform for this and bring the right people together in one place“, says Frank Junker, Partner & Creative Director der MUNICH FABRIC START.
On a total exhibition area of around 42,500 square metres, divided into eight areas, more than 1,300 collections from around 900 international suppliers of the textile and apparel industry were shown from 24 to 25 and 26 January. BLUEZONE was completely booked out with around 90 brands. The visitors included leading denim leaders, sportswear and fashion brands such as Adidas, Alberto, Boss, Brax, Bugatti, Camel Active, Cambio, C&A, Drykorn, Gerry Weber, Hallhuber, Herrlicher, Holy Fashion Group, Mac, Marc O'Polo, More & More, Selected, s. Oliver, Street One, Strellson, The North Face and United Colours of Benetton.
Trends Spring.Summer 24
Under the motto DARE & CARE, the MUNICH FABRIC START picks up on ubiquitous elements of the transformations taking place in society as a whole: from a new, empathy-driven sense of community to oppositional moments of resistance, revolution and protests to a hedonism that celebrates the moment; and in doing so integrates not least the needs for islands of tranquillity, for positivism and above all for genuine, human encounters.
The colour and material trends for Spring.Summer 24 are divided into the four sub-themes "Team Players", "Global Manifestors", "Exposers" and "Nesters" under the leitmotif DARE & CARE. The colour worlds range from light natural tones and off-white to pastel, bright power colours and warm, reddish shades of purple and brown to black. The focus is on materials that evoke emotion on both a visual and tactile level – raw, robust and natural materials contrasted by shimmer, glitter, stretch and mesh. Styles range from super sexy, sheer and tight, to classic suit looks, extreme wide cuts and workwear elements. Firmly anchored in the trends is a new awareness of responsibility for people and planet, the central importance of craftsmanship to the textile industry, inclusive design and the use of innovative approaches where possible.
Discover, experience and focus: under the leitmotif DISCOVERY, BLUEZONE invited all fashion people and denim experts to share moments together and discover and drive the latest highlights, innovations and changes in the industry. "Insta-Tok Life", "One by One Theory", "Modern Art Emporium" and "Low Tech No Tech" – this is how the trends cluster around topics influencing the denim world such as urban low-tech, art collabs, the colour and fit chaos of Gen Z and alpha consumers as well as inspiration from Instagram and Tik Tok.
“BLUEZONE reflects the whole denim industry – from professionals to Gen Z. As the world is constantly changing, I think it’s great that we give gen z the opportunity to share their ideas. We need to bring generations together and gather worthy inputs and ideas and teach each other how to deal with the changes in the world“, says Pelin Birsen, Operations & Sustainability Director, Ereks Blue Matters.
Orientation and inspiration; discourse and discussion
A total of more than 30 hours of trend lectures, discussions and presentations with over 90 experts from such diverse international companies as Assyst, Bluesign, Bossa, Circular.fashion, DMI, Fashion Revolution, Hachmeister & Partner, Isko, Marc O'Polo, Pantone, Peclers, Renewcell, Roland Berger, Veit, View Publications and Vizoo provided a fireworks display of inspiration and orientation that has never been seen before at a MUNICH FABRIC START with such intensity and depth. In addition to trend forecasts, it was in particular the complex of issues surrounding the ongoing transformative sustainability changes in the industry – key words: supply chain law, EU legislation, binding digital product passport, circularity – that were examined from the most diverse angles.
“The interest in 3D applications is huge – especially in connection with the goal of increasing sustainability and efficiency as well as a real implementation in the product. From the idea directly to the knitting machine, from the fabric sample directly to the model, from the brand vision directly into the brand communication with digital twins and avatars – this is what we brought to life at the Assyst Experience together with our partners“, says Hans-Peter Hiemer, Managing Director der Assyst GmbH, which was represented for the first time at MUNICH FABRIC START on an area of 300 square metres.
The processes of digital product creation – from avatars and colour apps to virtual models and dressing rooms as well as the creation of transparency in the supply chain through digital interfaces and solutions such as a digital product passport – were also presented by companies such as Circular.fashion, Circulix, CLO Virtual Fashion and Lectra and explained and discussed in depth in numerous presentations.
A fully booked KEYHOUSE, the innovation hub of MUNICH FABRIC START, showed the high interest in these topics. Smart textiles, future fabrics, new technologies and digital production processes for the textile chain are presented here on more than 1,000 square metres. The Sustainable Innovations area curated by Simon Angel featured Verena Brom, Camille Champion, Zena Holloway, Robin Hoske and Felix Rasehorn, Mehdi Mashayekhi, Savine Schoorl, Birke Weber and Friederike Hoberg as particularly emerging talents for Spring.Summer 24:
“I am very hopeful and optimistic that we are reaching a point where the vocabulary of the avant-garde of sustainable innovators can finally reach the language of the industry. To be inspired is like exercising a muscle. And now, after twelve editions of KEYHOUSE, I see that visitors have learnt that they need to continuously get excited about new things in order to get into a fit state for the future“, says Simon Angel, Curator Sustainable Innovations.
Dr. Mateusz Wielopolski, Circularity & Materials Expert, CCEO & Co-Founder of Circulix, an application for automated collection and measurement of data to design and create circular products, summarises this observation:
“What are the KPIs for circularity? How can I measure them? How can we build up knowledge in this and how can we communicate internally? The questions we are asked here are application-oriented and at the same time complex. It is time to find the right individual answers to them.“
Dr. Mateusz Wielopolski, Circularity & Materials Expert, CCEO & Co-Founder von Circulix
See you in July 2023
Munich Fabric Start Exhibitions GmbH has adjusted the trade fair dates for the summer editions of MUNICH FABRIC START, BLUEZONE, KEYHOUSE and THE SOURCE:
Specifically, MUNICH FABRIC START will take place for the first time on its new date from Tuesday, 18 to Thursday, 20 July 2023. The location will remain the MOC Munich. BLUEZONE, KEYHOUSE and THE SOURCE on the Zenith grounds will be staged as two-day events (18 and 19 July 2023).
From summer 2023, VIEW will continue to take place twice a year, but with a new concept: for the first time as reVIEW Autumn.Winter 24/25 on 13 and 14 September 2023 after MUNICH FABRIC START from 18 - 20 July 2023 and as preVIEW Spring.Summer 25 on 28 and 29 November 2023 before MUNICH FABRIC START in January 2024.
Further quotes about MUNICH FABRIC START & BLUEZONE
“The Source Studio – we love it! We are participating for the first time and it is really successful. We had lots of appointments and unexpected new customers. Our product is 100% designed in Italy made in China. The German customers look for exactly this: finished garments with the perfection designed in Italy.”
Thi Thu Hong Truong, Sales Manager, OTS
“Today was a good day. I believe in this fair. It is one of the most important fairs for the industry. It is the easiest place for the industry to get information. Those who come to our stand are looking for innovation and input. With our Track & Trace system, we offer a system solution for the supply chain set. We have been offering the tool for about 1.5. years. The demand is growing noticeably."
Daniel Jung, Managing Director, Trimco Group
“The market is a bit tough right now. We are struggling with customers having troubles with inflation, stocks and sales. So, the current time is about finding a way to fulfil the capacities, as there is a lack. But we are growing in the German market and this is why we are here for the first time – many of our German clients came here to visit us, we took appointments and had speeches in the panels. That’s why we’re already looking forward to be here for the second time in July 2023.”
Baris Izcimen, CEO & Co-Owner, Strom
“BLUEZONE is a super organized tradeshow where everything went smoothly, just as usual. We highly appreciate how everyone here feels welcome – whether exhibitors or guests. What’s special yet worthy is the combination of denim with other segments, which results in a mixture that attracts numerous clients. As we use to make many appointments, we come here to actually work and be productive. What we observe in the market is something that we also recognized at BLUEZONE: it’s not an easy time. I’d wish for a more international visitor portfolio. But still – we expected a bigger economic downturn and it’s not as bad as expected. I feel that the industry is going back on track, slowly but steadily.”
Marco Lucietti, Director of Strategic Projects, ISKO